Not being able to show your vulnerability when you have social anxiety is one of the most frustrating things that happens in life. We often hide our true selves, trying to avoid rejection and pain, but these days everything is more accessible. All it takes is a few seconds on camera or even a simple act of kindness from an acquaintance — something that we can do without any fear of judgement. The thought alone can be painful, but it’s important to push yourself past that. Letting go and embracing your vulnerability will let you feel lighter and more like yourself for having done so.
You’ll be surprised by how quickly the next day will go once you start showing some vulnerability in social situations.
Start by doing something small first. While it can be nerve-wracking, take a deep breath and go for it!
Step 1: Notice the fear.
Privately record yourself saying things you normally wouldn’t say in public, like “I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing” or “I feel silly”. Keep these phrases in mind while you’re out and see if they become a problem when people talk to you.
You’ll also start to feel more confident about your actions and choices as you embrace your vulnerability. You’ll realize that it wasn’t such a bad thing after all, even if you don’t always get the outcome that you hoped for.
People will really admire you for getting the courage to be vulnerable, so accept the praise and encouragement that comes your way.
Step 2: Find a safe place to test out your phrases.
Start by going anywhere where you think you’ll be able to handle it. Then try saying something like “I’m distracted” or “I feel silly” near someone who won’t mind (for example, someone who’s working or in class). If this goes well, talk about it with the person even if they don’t ask a question.
It’s important to find your comfort zone so that you can get the courage to be more vulnerable. Once you feel ready, try saying it in front of a group of people or talking about it with your friends even as you tear up. This is the next step in showing your vulnerability.
Step 3: Tell someone important to you what you are thinking.
Begin by telling them an embarrassing memory from your past and then say that you feel silly for doing what you did or not thinking about the consequences then and there.
This is the last step, and it can sometimes be the hardest. You’ll want to rush through this step, but you must make sure to address the issue so you will stay motivated to push past your fears.
A lot of us have been told that being vulnerable can be dangerous, but we know that isn’t true at all. You are taking the first step by acknowledging that you feel vulnerable, which is the biggest step towards being what you want to be. Keep going and see how far you can go!
When we are unable to show our vulnerability, it’s often because we’re afraid of judgement or rejection. Learn to push past these fears so you can truly be yourself. With time, people will find that your true colors really shine through.
Stay strong and stay focused on your goals!